Reaching Heights September 2023
Reaching Heights September 2023
Links to this month’s news:
- Worship in September
- Adult Education
- Mid-week Bible Study
- Kate’s Cogitations
- An Invite from Irwin
- General Assembly
- Mission Ministry
- Wednesday’s Together
- Play: To My White Friends Who Know Me
- From The Christian Church in Ohio
and Your Regional Minister
- Book Group and Meditative Arts Group
- Gift Cards
- Social Media
See the Serving Schedule
Worship and study for September
Worship Series: “Come to the Table” with materials from Worship Design Studio and Dr. Marcia McFee
In this series, we hear the call to dine with Jesus — an invitation that means much more than a simple eating experience. It never was with Jesus. The table was the place where he fed people, and also challenged them to acts of hospitality that reflect God’s way. When we say “yes” to the place at Christ’s table, we accept a way of life that embraces God’s definition of love, peace, grace, and joy. Let us celebrate the depth of communion to which we are called.
Sept. 3 The Table of Hospitality Romans 12:9-21
Jesus’ lesson at the last supper was clear: the meal of the kin-dom of God is for ALL. Saints, strangers, those who persecute and betray you, those who are joyful and those who weep.
Sept. 10 The Table of Love Romans 13:8-14 KICK-OFF SUNDAY
Jesus often confounded those for whom acceptance was conditional — those who required specific laws be followed “or else.” The litmus test for Jesus was simply love.
Sept. 17 The Table of Peace Romans 14:10-12 and Matthew 18:21-22
We welcome each other at the table even when we disagree. Coming to tables of peacemaking is hard work. We are called to sit down and find merciful ways to deal with one another despite our differences.
Sept. 24 The Table of Grace Matthew 20:1-16
God decides how much to give and gives more than we can ever imagine; more grace than we expect. In the face of such abundance, we are called to be generous as God is generous.
Oct. 1 The Table of Joy Philippians 2:1-4
We celebrate our common communion table with people all over the world. Through the Spirit, we are brought together and no matter how we got there, believing in the host of this Table makes our joy complete!
Adult Education offerings for September
September starts a new church program year, and that includes adult education. Sunday Adult Study will begin September 24 with a four-week look at spiritual practices to help us open to Spirit in our day-to-day lives. Each session will include an experiential activity as well as discussion. We’ll meet at 9:30 am in the chapel. No advance preparation is needed, and each session will stand on its own, so you can join us one week or all. Cindy Maxey will lead the group.
Mid-Week Bible Study to Resume!
Topic = Philippians
Philippians is one of the most winsome of all of Paul’s letters and it provides an amazingly intimate view of the early church. It is largely free of the conflicts so evident in Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Corinthians. In fact, Philippians is often called the “epistle of joy” because of the warmth with which Paul expresses himself toward his friends. There is a poignancy to Paul’s joy, however, because he is in prison and does not know whether he will be set free or put to death.
If you would like to explore this book with us, plan on joining the Mid-Week Bible Study on Tuesday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. (on Zoom) starting September 12th when we will begin a study entitled Philippians based on a commentary by Fred Craddock.
You don’t need to be a Biblical scholar to join us; we are all learners together. There is no book to purchase nor any homework to complete. Come for one session or all six as we look at themes in this scripture: In This Together (Session 1, 9/12), Great Joy (Session 2, 9/19), Beliefs That Matter (Session 3, 9/26), Being of One Mind (Session 4, 10/3), Christian Identity (Session 5, 10/10) and Mutual Hospitality (Session 6, 10/17).
This study will be led by Jane Troha. (Please note that it will be at 2:00 p.m. rather than 1 p.m.) We will be hoping to see you there!
From the staff
I imagine many of us have memories of dinnertime about the family table. In my family, each person had a chance to share about their day and what was on their mind, and then, my father, the professor, would almost hold court (or class?) on some topic of interest. It was a time of connection and sharing, but also debating and learning. When I was little, I used to beg my parents to hold “Polite Night,” a weekly tradition they had started with my older sisters to teach manners. (It had been discontinued when I was born.) While my sisters would groan about it, I cherished the opportunity to dress up, use the “good dishes,” and pretend we were at a fancy restaurant. Family dinners around the table offered so much – learning and sharing, celebrating and debating, but always love and nourishment.
This September our worship theme focuses on the Table – the communion table and all it invited us into – hospitality, love, peace, grace, and joy. We’ll explore how we can expect to find those qualities at the Table and how God calls us into a way of life wherein we embody and express those qualities to others. So Come to the Table to be fed, but also to be guided and inspired to live your faith so that others may know God’s love.
Join the Choir!
The Heights Christian Church Choir needs your help! We are inviting all music lovers to join us.
During Kickoff Week and the month ensuing, the choir will lead the congregation in a number of familiar and comfortable tunes. If you find that you enjoy the music and wish to sing with us, simply email Irwin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and join our practice sessions in the Choir Room a half-hour before service. Special tracks will be created for any who wish, so you can familiarize yourself with the melodies in the days leading up to rehearsal! We sincerely hope you will consider adding your voice to our numbers.
Regarding General Assembly
The Christian Church (disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada met in General Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky from July 29th through August 2nd. The joy in being together as the church, in person, was palpable! It had been a long time since the last General Assembly and the Church was clearly delighted to gather face-to-face once again!
Dr. Kate, Greg, Don and I were in attendance representing our congregation. What a powerful, meaningful experience it was to be able to study, pray, worship and work together with 3,000 Disciples! We attended worship every night, hearing some amazing preaching! We listened, considered carefully and voted on many reports and resolutions. Dr. Kate and I will share the content of significant ones with you as we begin our program year in September. We attended a variety of workshops, bringing home ideas to share within our own congregation. It was time well spent!
I always return from General Assembly deeply moved and extremely proud of who we are as a denomination! Somehow, we manage to get it right when it comes to being church. We are able to discuss and even disagree at times, yet when it comes to an issue that speaks to affirming the value of each of God’s children, we step up to the plate and speak boldly as a church body. This year, I was especially proud when the GA passed Resolution 2352 – Invitation to Oppose Anti-Trans Legislation and Affirm the Dignity of Transgender and Gender-Diverse people. The testimonies offered and remarks made during the discussion period were both gut-wrenching and life-affirming. The resolution passed unanimously!
We are eager to share with you other actions taken by the national expression of our denomination. Join us for brief reports throughout September! We can’t duplicate the experience of gathering in Louisville, but we will share the enthusiasm we brought back. For at GA we truly found the kin-dom of God within us and among us!
Jane Troha, Moderator
Summer vacations will have ended for most of us and schools are back in session. What did you do; where did you go? We hope it was fun and or relaxing. What’s next? Take a look at what your Mission Team has so far on its calendar.
Wall of Love – for past two years Heights Christian has partnered with Lomond School to provide mittens, gloves, hats, scarves for children who need them for various reasons including homelessness. Ms. Billie, who coordinates this with us, has expressed her gratitude for our donations. We are committed to continuing our partnership and will collect items for donations to Lomond School from October 15th-March 10th. A tub clearly marked will be in the narthex. To keep from the potential of spreading colds or other contagious diseases, we ask that you put your donation of new or nearly new clean items in gallon Ziploc bag. If you don’t have a bag, don’t worry, we keep a supply in the narthex near the tub.
Neighbor Night convenes year-round on the last Tuesday of the month. All are welcome. In September the date is the 26th from 6-8pm. The place is Stephani Tubbs-Jones building. If there is a change, Pastor Kate’s weekly update will have the information or contact Theodore Darden at Theodore Darden IV 491- 1333: he is the Neighborhood and Housing specialist for City of Shaker Heights.
Outreach Committee (ORC)- The funding to applicants who meet the criteria, comes from a percentage of our pledges to the church yearly. The ORC reviews applications from March to end of May. The decision is then made to approve an application. This past year a total of $2,551 was given to community organizations serving residents in Cuyahoga. The applications are located on the Heights Christian Church website.
Family Promise has a new opportunity. For those who have expressed an interest in reading to pre-school children, you can sign up on the clipboard located on table in the Narthex by August 6th. Background checks will be conducted and paid for by Family Promise. Other opportunities will also be listed for volunteering with Family Promise. If more details are needed contact Andrena at email@example.com or 216-848-0108.
Partnerships with Plymouth continue. Food Bank volunteering is available with Paul Qua and others. Usually that is the second Tuesday and third Wednesday 6-8pm. If you wish to volunteer contact Paul at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Adult Family Life at Plymouth UCC: Heights Missions Team Leader will continue to meet with this committee and share information that will include community support needs and activities.
Donations to the Little Free Pantry are available for non-perishable food at any time. It is located just off the parking lot here at Heights Christian and Plymouth Church.
Thank you for voting on August 8th. Please take note: there is an election in November. The Mission Team will do its best to provide information to the community so that you can make an informed decision of your choice. Are you registered? Remember there are recent changes for voting now. Go to ohio.gov/voting to see changes and what you need to know to vote.
A big thank you to Connee Choi, our Assistant Team Leader for Missions and Keith Langford, coordinator Family and Community Engagement, Shaker Heights Schools for distributing the school supplies donations collected on August 20th. Keith noted that there are at least sixty students in Shaker area in need of supplies. Some of them are homeless.
To date: ideas thoughts to be explored with community partners: Spring Festival; topics for seniors who live alone; “Listen to Me, I Have Story” or Nobody ever listened to me session; a bike ride and a cup of coffee
This church year’s Mission Team will be looking forward to meet and discuss support for old events as well as remembering to forge ahead looking for new opportunities. We invite you to share your thoughts, ideas.
Moment for Mission – is shared during worship on the fourth Sunday of the month from October to June.
Pastor Kate’s weekly update has information that is current for that week and future events.
National Faith & Blue weekend October 6-9
Plymouth Church, UCC and Heights Christian Church are both blessed to call our building at 2860 Coventry Road home. This coming year, both congregations are looking forward to growing friendships between our members, as well as discerning what ministry opportunities and events we can embark on together! One way we will seek to expand our relationship is through sharing “Wednesdays Together.” On the first three Wednesdays of each month, we will share in fellowship and formation with one another. We look forward to seeing many folks from HCC and Plymouth at each gathering!
On First Wednesdays, join us for Book Group. Come and be in conversation around a different chosen book each month. You’re welcome even if you haven’t read the book to enjoy the discussion together.
On Second Wednesdays, join us for Meditative Arts Group. We will provide projects or you can bring your own. Everyone is invited to color, doodle, draw, paint, knit, sew – whatever fits your interest and provides soothing quiet for you. We will gather with fellowship, then listen to calm, soothing music while we break out our pens, crayons, colored pencils, and knitting needles.
On Third Wednesdays, join us for Lunch Club. We gather for a homemade meal and fellowship, and then listen to a speaker from the community or one of our churches. We will occasionally take a field trip out to a destination in Northeast Ohio, so be on the lookout for where we will meet each month. Suggested donation is $8 for lunch. RSVP to Pastor Dillon at email@example.com, which is necessary for food preparation.
A Wonderful Play about Cross-racial Friendships at Forest Hill Church
Dr. Debbie Plummer’s amazingly engaging play, “To My White Friends Who Know Me”, will be at Forest Hill Church (in Cleveland Heights) in September.
Some of you may have seen the show at Karamu House last year or maybe have read her book, Some of My Friends Are: The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships. This special presentation encourages audiences to make an effort to cross racial lines in friendship and collectively work toward racial equity. Dr. Plummer herself will be a part of the post-show discussion.
Join us in person Saturday, September 9 at 7:00 pm or Sunday, September 10 at 2:00 pm. Please feel free to share this invitation with a friend – it’s a great show to experience with your racial equity buddy, a neighbor, a colleague ❤
Use this link to purchase tickets TODAY: https://fhc.breezechms.com/form/78a418
FROM THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN OHIO
AND YOUR REGIONAL MINISTER:
Your Input Needed for Possible Fundraising Campaign
You most likely are aware that the primary physical asset for the Christian Church in Ohio is our Regional camp and church offices property at 10335 Maple Dell Road in Marysville, Ohio.
Starting over two years ago the Camp Christian Committee began imagining in earnest what could be done to improve these facilities so that more of our congregations, clergy and lay leaders (children, youth, young adults and adults) as well as our ecumenical, interfaith, and even corporate neighbors would find Camp Christian to be a place of inspiration, nurture, rest, and renewal. We engaged the services of Disciples Church Extension Fund to lead us in a Feasibility Study to determine the willingness and capacity of individuals across the Christian Church in Ohio, as well as former members and friends, to engage in a possible $2.5 million fundraising effort to expand the capacity of mission and ministry for the Christian Church in Ohio, primarily by increasing the usability of our what is essentially our Regional Church offices and conference center.
And that is where you come in. We need your feedback to determine if this is the right direction for us to be headed. Please read over the Case Statement and other documents (copies available in the Narthex at church as well as on our website under “Serve.”) You can access the anonymous survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCIO2023. The survey will be open through Friday evening, September 15 at midnight.
The Book Group will resume – Wednesday, September 6th at 1:00 pm in Room 102 at Plymouth Church. If you would like to have lunch before the meeting, bring your own and come at 12:30. We will be discussing the book The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.
Meditative Arts Group
The Meditative Arts Group will begin meeting on the second Wednesday of the month. Our first gathering will be on Wednesday, September 13th at 1:00, and we will meet in the Atrium of Plymouth Church. Everyone is welcome to join us for Zentangle, coloring or other relaxing art activities. We look forward to sharing our art while listening to meditative music.
Remember gift cards are available on Sunday mornings and in the office every weekday during normal office hours.
We have on hand a limited supply of $100 Amazon, Lowe’s and Home Depot cards.
If you want them for your gardening and home update projects pick them up now. Your demand will determine whether we order more. We also have a few $25 Lowe’s and Home Depot cards from a prior purchase. Help HCC while you brighten your yard and home.
Social Media outreach
HCC is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and You-Tube and Linked-In! Several recordings of special worship services have been uploaded to our channel on You-Tube. If you see something you like, share it on your page! This will increase our reach and may draw in our next visitor!
6 – Ed Hill 9 – Cara Sutherland 12 – Martha Cubberley 12 – Sandy Jones
22 – Henry Mullen 23 – Mike Singerman 23 – Kimberly Taylor
26 – Alex Nikolenko
1 – Lynda Ackerman 3 – Anita Watson 3 – Ann Weisheimer
4 – Debbie Osgood 5 – Linda Durham 6 – Mark Cubberley
18 – Jeff Fronck 18 – Amber Sharpley 19 – Florence Chase
30 – Tommy Dunn
We are glad to share the birthdays we have on record each month and encourage members to reach out with greetings. We apologize if someone’s name has been omitted – please call Kese in the church office to share your birthday if we don’t have it in our list. We want to celebrate you!